9 NYC Activities for Baseball Nerds

Andrew Rosenberg

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There's nothing like a day at the ballpark, rooting on the home team. But for some folks, that might not be enough. If your love of baseball runs deep, like Giancarlo Stanton–power deep, consider these local activities too:

1. Pretend you own a team
Take part in a fantasy baseball draft at the New York Hilton Midtown, April 2–4. Pit your strategies and expertise against other “roto” fanatics in the National Fantasy Baseball Championships, and raise your obsession to another level.

2. Pitch under the gun
Measure your fastball against that of the pros at the New York Hall of Science. This family institution's second-floor Sports Challenge boasts a radar gun, and you're free to give it the old college try. No worries—you're not facing live batters; just the watchful eyes of onlookers. Who knows if there’s a scout among them?

3. Check out baseball's street-game alternative
Learn more about those good old days your dad keeps mentioning at the Stickball Hall of Fame, in East Harlem. There's also a tournament over Memorial Day weekend in a nearby park and an induction ceremony in July at the Museum of the City of New York. You might just be inspired to pick up a bouncy, pink Spaldeen and see if you are a two-sewer hitter.

4. Don’t worry, eat curry
Honor #55 at Go! Go! Curry, where the menu is divided up by game terminology and the walls are peppered with sports clippings. This katsu curry house claims inspiration in the form of Japan's Hideki Matsui, who played seven seasons for the New York Yankees, wore the number 55 (the Japanese word go, phonetically speaking, means “five”) and is famously referenced in a scene from the movie Knocked Up.  


5. Compare your card collection to the Met's (as opposed to the Mets’)
Take a walk to see the massive baseball card exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You'll find a trove of early collectibles that were once the property of Jefferson R. Burdick, who catalogued trading cards that date as far back as 1887. Don't worry if you stay in the dugout till the current show ends on April 9: another batch will be on display as part of the permanent exhibition.

6. Look at some ballpark figures
Pore over the long-lost blueprints for Ebbets Field, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, at the Municipal Archives. Discovered by local author Rod Kennedy in the early 1990s and passed on to Brooklyn historian Ron Schweiger before coming under custody of the City, the plans are viewable online—but you can try to prearrange an in-person look if you have a reasonable research request.

7. Join the local beat writers
Catch a Pitch Talk about your favorite NYC ball club at BB King's Blues Club and Grill. You'll hear journalists telling stories and conducting lively discussions about the Mets (May 28) and Yankees (June 8).

8. See where the side is retired
Pay homage to giants of the sport at Green-Wood Cemetery and Woodlawn. The former holds the final resting places of box-score originator Henry Chadwick, Brooklyn Dodgers' owner Charles Ebbets and other hallowed names (a baseball-related trolley tour will take place on April 11); meanwhile, Hall of Fame player-manager Frankie Frisch is among those interred up at Woodlawn in the Bronx. 

9. And you thought you were a baseball purist?
Watch baseball the way it was once played, at Governors Island, Old Stone House Park, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and MCU Park. The New York Gotham Base Ball Club meets fellow lovers of the original game (circa 1864 rules) for vintage matchups a handful of times throughout the City; other local teams include the Brooklyn Atlantics and New York Mutuals. Oddest rule: the umpire warns the pitcher after his first ball and the batter after his first strike.
 


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